Lynch on the value of truth
Few of us will deny that if a person believes something false, then she is wrong or mistaken, and that if a person believes something true, she is right. If someone believes that p, and <p> is true, then she is right about whether p; and if someone believes that p, and <p> is false, then she is wrong about whether p. With a nod to Plato, we may ask whether propositions are true because people who believe them are right or whether people who believe them are right because what they believe is true. If propositions were true because people were right to believe them, then we would have the makings of a definition of truth in terms of rightness of belief. I take it that few of us would be happy saying that propositions are true because people who believe them are right. There is the obvious problem that there are true propositions no one believes. But it doesn't help to say that propositions are true because were people to believe them they would be right. Even aside from worries about conditional analyses in general (e.g., the conditional fallacy), this just sounds like it gets things backwards. <snow is white> is not true because of anything about actual or counterfactual people actually or possibly believing it and being right. Rather, people who believe <snow is white> are right because that proposition is true. So, because the order of explanation runs from truth to rightness of belief, rather than vice versa, there is no prospect of defining truth as rightness of belief. That does not mean, of course, that the link between truth and rightness of belief is without interest.